Birds In Row

We Already Lost The World

Written by: AP on 17/07/2019 13:53:23

A lot has happened since Birds in Row burst into the screamo scene with their furious début album, “You, Me & the Violence”, in 2012. First and foremost, the trio hailing from Laval in western France, have developed tremendously in terms of both their songwriting and their skill of musicianship, so if, like me, you saw the potential in the band but felt the record was an underachievement, there is plenty to be excited about on this long-awaited successor. “We Already Lost the World” ups the ante in virtually every respect, presenting an elegant and matured version of the band for whom the top priority is no longer sheer intensity, but atmosphere, message and diversity instead. It plays like an existential crisis put to record, with anger, despair and inquisition seeping through every crack in the instrumentation and lyricism of the three anonymised members B., Q. and J. — yet in spite of the lugubriosity, the soundscape they have conjured here is actually quite lush, even cinematic at times.

Where on “You, Me & the Violence” the trio wore their punk relativity on the sleeve and as such rarely deviated from compressing their disillusionment into short pulses, “We Already Lost the World” finds Birds in Row following myriad different pathways and taking the time to see where they might lead. The nine songs featured on the album range in length from just over 90 seconds to nearly 6 minutes and come in an equivalent spectrum of musical differences spanning from the dissonance and vitriol of “Love Is Political” to the Basement-esque emo aesthetics of “15-38”, in which cleanly sung vocals and a wistful, muted guitar melody take the centre stage. But while these two tracks form the extremes of the group’s expression on “We Already Lost the World”, there are lots of other interesting takes on the post-hardcore genre found on the album as well; “We vs. Us” and “I Don’t Dance” teeter between the urgent spoken word-style vocals that fans of La Dispute and Pianos Become the Teeth will instantly find familiar and violent eruptions of disheartenment in the style of Loma Prieta and The Saddest Landscape, while elsewhere, “Remember Us Better Than We Are” and especially the haunting album closer “Fossils” enlist beautifully the drama of post-rock to introduce some ebb and flow into the trio’s dynamics. And these increases in depth and variety have the effect of actually making the more traditional skramz tracks like “Love is Political” and “Morning” stand out instead of blending together as they did on the début.

Once the ringing guitar notes and glum singing in the aforementioned “Fossils” have slowly faded into distant feedback and wound the album to a conclusion thus, one is thus left with an impression of a much more complete band than was the case on their previous efforts — one that finally justifies the buzz surrounding Birds in Row. It would be stretching it to claim “We Already Lost the World” brings innovation to either post-hardcore or screamo as such, but it nonetheless offers a riveting and emotionally cathartic listen and, most importantly, it charts a new, more agnostic direction for the band that should enable the three musicians to establish themselves as a prominent force in the genre in the years to come.

8

Download: Love Is Political, We vs. Us, I Don’t Dance, Morning, Fossils
For the fans of: Loma Prieta, Pianos Become the Teeth, Portrayal of Guilt, Touché Amoré
Listen: Facebook

Release date 13.07.2018
Deathwish Inc.

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